Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) morning email thingie breathlessly tells us that President Handsome Joe Biden is having a party and, you know, only cool kids were invited! Sorry, Losers! (emphasis theirs)-
Today at 1:15 p.m. the president will meet with his second bipartisan group in the Oval Office to discuss his jobs and infrastructure package. These sessions are a hot ticket. While certain congressional factions are getting time with senior Biden staff — the Problem Solvers Caucus last week and, per the WaPo, the New Democrats Coalition this week — the Biden meetings are naturally considered the bigger prize. We’ve heard griping from some Senate offices who haven’t yet received an invitation.
Here’s today’s guest list:
- Sen. JOHN HICKENLOOPER (Colo.)
- Sen. ANGUS KING (Maine)
- Sen. JEANNE SHAHEEN (N.H.)
- Rep. EMANUEL CLEAVER (Mo.)
- Rep. CHARLIE CRIST (Fla.)
- Rep. NORMA TORRES (Calif.)
- Sen. MITT ROMNEY (Utah)
- Sen. JOHN HOEVEN (N.D.)
- Rep. CARLOS GIMÉNEZ (Fla.)
- Rep. KAY GRANGER (Texas)
So what do these guests have in common? In their pre-Federal careers, each of them was a mayor or a governor, and presumably they understand the benefits of injecting big federal dollars into local economies. The White House says these guests, “understand firsthand the impact of a federal investment in rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure on their communities.” So, you know, Politico: NOT A MYSTERY!
Anyway, what is clear is that WV’s other Senator Shelley Moore Capito, who is proposing cutting the Jobs/Infrastructure Bill by, oh, 66%—75% or so, is not invited. WICKED BURN, CAPITO!
Our pals over at Electoral-Vote have an interesting piece up on Capito’s proposal and how her own WV colleague Joe Manchin plays into this (emphasis mine):
“…Sen. Joe Manchin (D-Abandoned Coal Mines) does not like the infrastructure bill. That is, the $800-billion bill proposed by the moderate Republicans. He wants it to be bigger. Much bigger. He literally said: “We’re going to do whatever it takes. If it takes $4 trillion, I’d do $4 trillion, but we have to pay for it.” In other words, the Republican moderates put together a skimpy $800-billion infrastructure bill as a response to Joe Biden’s $2-trillion bill in order to get Manchin’s vote, and Manchin is not only happy with Biden’s bill, but would be OK if the price tag were doubled.
The Senator’s only condition is that it be paid for and not put on the national credit card. He wants to raise the corporate tax rate to 25%, which is lower than the 28% that Biden wants, so money has to be found elsewhere. From an economic and mathematical point of view, that is not hard to do, but politically it is something else, of course. For example, England has a 0.5% transaction tax on all stock sales. Nevertheless, the London Stock Exchange does quite well, thank you. The value of stocks traded on the NYSE daily is very roughly $100 billion, so a 1% transaction tax would generate $1 billion a day. Add in NASDAQ, commodities, and other financial transactions and the tax could easily generate $3-4 billion a day or over $1 trillion a year without affecting ordinary Americans very much. That should satisfy Manchin, but Wall Street would be very cranky.
The take-away from this is that if the Dims can hold (and not immediately give away the game by negotiating for defeat), this bill could be financed, Manchin would support it and we could all get something out of it.
So of course, Sen. Chris Coons (D-Deleware) is already negotiating defeat, as E-V notes:
Capito got a boost when Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) suggested first passing Capito’s $800 billion bill in a bipartisan manner and then coming back and passing the rest of the $2-trillion bill using budget reconciliation.
We still maintain that no one outside of the Beltway gives a merde about a bipartisan Trojan horse. Going through contortions to get one Wingnut to break is a total waste of time and energy.
But other Senate Democrats don’t the see the point of this stunt and doubt that the Republicans would even sign up for Part I if they knew the next day there would be a Part II. The other Democrats are worried that some of the momentum will be lost if they first pass the minibill.
And all that to get not even one Republican on board.
Even Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), who is definitely a moderate, said: “It’s a really important moment to go big and I worry that talk that focuses on scaling things down is negotiating against the goal that we all have.” In short, “Sorry Shelley, I’m not interested in your plan.” And if moderates like Casey are not buying and Manchin would be happy if it were twice as big, the odds of a watered-down plan passing seem slim at the moment.